Happiness and unhappiness1

Happiness and unhappiness. We all know that happiness and unhappiness are two opposite realities. They are diametrically opposite realities. But there are some people who unfortunately feel that unhappiness is the true happiness. What we call happiness, according to them that very thing is unhappiness; and what we call unhappiness, they call happiness. They are never, never satisfied unless and until they are unhappy, frustrated and miserable. When they are in a melancholy state, they feel that this is the true satisfaction.

To us this is the height of absurdity. We look around and see that unhappiness is singing, dancing, flying everywhere. Unhappiness, in a sense, is running riot. But as if this unhappiness were not enough for these people, they want to add more unhappiness to their system. The unhappiness that they already have they do not try to get rid of. Instead, they want to add more unhappiness in order to derive satisfaction.

Sometimes there are minor calamities, accidents and crises in life that make us unhappy. But we should not think that God sends us these calamities in order to make us pure, or to make our progress fast. No. On very rare occasions we see that saintly people, good people, spiritual people, suffer. When they do, they suffer for various reasons. If they are spiritual Masters of a very high calibre, they suffer on the strength of their oneness with their disciples, their followers, their intimate ones. Again, sometimes God wants to show the world at large that even the great seekers and Masters go through suffering, so people will see that suffering is not something uncommon. He wants to show the world that suffering is inherent in human nature. But in no way does God want to punish us so that He can make us close to Him.

Some people go one step farther. They think that if they can suffer severely and then pray to God, at that time God will listen to their prayers; therefore, deliberately they do something wrong. They know the penalty and they are ready to pay the penalty because they feel that when they suffer God will listen to their prayers. But this is absurd. It is like cutting off your legs and then asking yourself to walk. It is impossible. It is like blinding your eyes and then asking yourself to see. It is impossible. In order to please God, no seeker should deliberately welcome suffering, which is the cause of unhappiness or the same thing as unhappiness.

When you are frustrated or disappointed, at that time if you pray, do not think that the Supreme in me or the Supreme in you will be more pleased. Far from it. When you are frustrated, you are only blocking the road between you and God. At that time you have built a solid wall, an adamantine wall, between yourself and me.

Just be happy and keep your heart open to light and bliss. If you are happy and cheerful, then you can run the fastest. Even if you are not happy, when you come to me you have to force yourself to be happy. By forcing yourself to be happy you can create a kind of receptivity for a few seconds. Then I will be in a position to pour my compassion, light and blessings into you. But if you come to me with a sad face, making me feel that you are dead or that you are about to die right now, then inwardly I can only tell you, “Die, then. I will be there to watch you.”

Do not come to me with a sad and frustrated face. If you come to me with an unhappy face, you are only digging your own grave. Even if you have been unhappy the whole day, when you come to me keep a cheerful face. Force yourself to smile. If a child does not want to eat and his mother forces him to eat, then he will be nourished; he will get strength. If a naughty boy does not want to wash, when his mother forces him to wash, he becomes clean in spite of himself. The mind and vital are like naughty boys. So wash them, cleanse them with your soul’s light, with your heart’s inner cry.

So, my children, always come to me with a cheerful face. Then you will be able to receive whatever I want to give. If you feel that by being unhappy you will become closer to me, or if you feel that your unhappiness itself is happiness, then you will be able to receive nothing. Happiness is happiness. Unhappiness is unhappiness. Night is night.

Let us not make fools of ourselves. Always we have to see the truth in its proper aspect. If it is unhappiness, it is unhappiness. If it is happiness, it is happiness. We have to conquer unhappiness through happiness. This is the only way to run the fastest and create immediate and boundless receptivity. This is the only way to please the Supreme in His own Way.


  1. 5 July 1977, 9:05 p.m. — Martin Van Buren High School, Hollis, New York

Sri Chinmoy, Everest-Aspiration, part 1.First published by Agni Press in 1977.

This is the 352nd book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Everest-Aspiration, part 1, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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